SARATOGA SPRINGS — Local officials and firefighters held a groundbreaking ceremony for Saratoga Springs Fire Station 3.
The approximately $8 million project is expected to be completed in the spring.
Firefighters, state and local officials and local residents came together Tuesday to mark the groundbreaking of the new fire station on Henning Road. About 70 people attended to hear about the station and celebrate its groundbreaking.
Saratoga Springs Fire Chief Joseph Dolan said the new station will improve response time to the eastern plateau side of the city.
“Its going to improve coverage within our city,” Dolan said. “We’ve had higher incidents of overlapping calls that require more service, more apparatus, more personnel to provide the quality of service this city deserves.”
The new station also will house the county hazmat team and function as an emergency operations center, Dolan said. He said the station’s location will give the department easy access to the Northway and Route 29.
“This station is going to improve overall services to the community as a whole,” Dolan said.
The city’s Fire Station 1 was built in the 1930s, and Station 2 in the 1970s, Dolan said. The new station has been 20 years in the making, he said.
“Now we’re here for Station 3 in 2022,” Dolan said. “It shows the growth, the investment this city has in its fire and emergency services and the delivery of services that we can improve on by adding this third station.”
Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim shared a story about how he was approached about this project shortly after he was elected to the council in 2005. He said he was not even in office yet when former fire chief Bob Cogan and his command staff showed Kim a map of the city and pointed to the eastern plateau and told Kim they could not get to the eastern plateau.
Kim recalled Cogan telling him the eastern plateau is where the growth was happening in the city. Kim thanked the fire chiefs, former and present who had worked toward the new station
“They knew that we needed this,” Kim said “They understood that we couldn’t take no for an answer, and all the machinations at City Hall weren’t going to stop this. So we really really need to thank them. The professionals in our city, who love this city enough to say we aren’t going to take no for an answer, we’re going to push this through.”
The other group of people who made a difference were the residents who had advocated for the new station, Kim said. He said those people came to not only his administration but to the other administrations over the past 20 years advocating the need for the station.
Kim said it took several administrations of the City Council to get to this point of the project. He also thanked the New York Racing Association for its contribution of the land the station is being built on.
“While it’s been a long time and a long road and a difficult slog to get here now,” Public Safety Commissioner Jim Montagnino said, “there’s still many months of work ahead to get the station ready to get the station staffed and to get the station equipped.”
State Sen. Daphne Jordan, R-Halfmoon, presented the project with a certificate of recognition from the state Senate.
“Public safety is really the number one job of government,” Jordan said. “I just want to thank the city of Saratoga Springs, I want to thank the Fire Department for keeping the jewel of the city that is Saratoga Springs safe.”